Bravo expects tight NZ tussle

  • Last Updated: July 4 2012, 15:16 BST

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is taking nothing for granted as he prepares for the one-day international series against New Zealand.

Bravo: Expecting close contest between even teams

The 28-year-old and his team-mates head into the first of the five 50-over games at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Thursday brimming with confidence after demolishing the Black Caps in both of their Twenty20 meetings in Florida last week.

However, Bravo insists the West Indies are not favourites for what could prove to be a tight contest.

He told "I don't think we are favourites. New Zealand have a good team.

"The two sides are ranked one away from each other, so we can anticipate a good series. We won't take any team lightly.

"We have to concentrate on what we have to do as a team and also what we have to do to improve and move up on a team.

"We don't mind if we win by one run or 100 runs. The most important thing is that we go out and have a good series and win.

"We won the T20s and that was good for us. The support was great in Florida and we will be looking for more support from the people of the Caribbean during the rest of the matches in this series."

Bravo blasted 35 not out off just 11 balls, including four sixes, as his side eased to victory in the T20 series at Central Regional Broward Park in south Florida, although it was opener Chris Gayle who stole the show in both games with an unbeaten 85 from 52 deliveries and then 53 from just 39.

That was a significant improvement on their brief tour to England earlier this summer, which ended in defeat in all three forms of the game.

Bravo said: "In the ODI series against Australia earlier this year, we did well playing at home. We played some good cricket and fought hard for the wins we got.

"We went to England, where the conditions were different and we weren't on the ball. It was a difficult series for us.

"We bounced back with two wins last weekend against New Zealand so hopefully, now we are back home, we can expect a very good start to the series and kick on from there. We are looking forward to this series ahead of us."

New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill admits the tourists, who will be without injured captain Ross Taylor and Test specialist Brendon McCullum, need to raise their game if they are to compete.

He told the Jamaica Observer: "Without Brendon and Ross in the side, we lose a bit of experience, but the other guys are in the squad for a reason and can step up when required.

"We really know what we need to do to rectify what we did in the Twenty20s and play a lot better, so hopefully the batsmen, bowlers and everyone in the squad are on board."